So! I suppose the description says it all! Just a little attempt to add to the loveliness that is James and Lily. I'm hoping it is canon, but I might possibly have strayed in several places.
Just one humble request to you: Please review!
Disclaimer: I am not British. J K Rowling is British. You figure out the rest.
A Night to Remember
'In short, wizards and witches, I cannot imagine two people more in love, more perfectly suited to each other as these two friends of mine .' The handsome man in black turned to the blushing couple standing next to him. 'To James and Lily! May their love shine for evermore!'
The lamplight shimmered on all the glasses that were suddenly raised to the air as everyone toasted to the happy couple.
'And may their pack of children all resemble our lovely Lily, because, let's face it, James looks like an undernourished mandrake root.'
Loud applause and shouts of 'Hear! Hear!' filled the glade, while James punched him playfully and Lily's tears of joy turned to tears of laughter.
'You didn't expect me to give a completely sentimental speech, did you?' –grinned Sirius as the music started up again.
'We should have known,' Lily smiled while James shot his best man a what-do-you-take-me-for look. 'It was a lovely speech, nevertheless. Thank you, Sirius.'
'That's Padfoot to you, Mrs. Prongs ,' Sirius said warmly, bowing deep over the hand that she gave him.
'A picture, Sirius! The happy couple and their best man!' A small man with watery eyes and a high-pitched voice bounced into their midst seemingly out of nowhere with a camera in his hand.
Sirius Black rolled his eyes. 'Really, Wormtail? You are far more eager to "capture memories" for the future than actually living them in the present!'
Wormtail shook his finger at them. 'You mustn't laugh Sirius! Someday these pictures will mean something!'
'Come now, Padfoot,' Lily said slyly, and her husband's best friend seemed delighted at being addressed so, 'you don't really have a reason to say no: you look dashing in all your pictures!'
Sirius laughed and stood between his best friend and his best friend's bride, while Wormtail took several steps back joyfully, his camera already at his eye.
James glanced at his wife, mock-affronted. 'Dashing, eh? And what about your dear husband?'
The rejoinder was instant and casual –'For an undernourished mandrake root, you look wonderful, dear.'
Both men burst into laughter at the exact moment the picture was taken.
'Perfect!' –Wormtail cried. 'Absolutely wonderful! This one will be the best of the lot, I'm sure.'
'And now one with you, Peter.'
'Oh no, Lily, I couldn't!' Wormtail's embarrassed squeaks were brushed aside and he was pushed to the bride and groom's side with little ceremony.
Several other people came in their turn to take pictures with the couple. After a particularly boisterous shoot with James' three best friends, Lily turned to James and murmured softly, 'James, I'll be back in a minute.'
James looked at where her gaze was directed; his face darkened immediately. 'What's he doing here?'
'James please,' Lily's pained voice softened his scowl a little, 'I owe him at least this. Two minutes.'
'Fine. Two minutes. Where I can see you.'
'Of course, darling.' With a quick peck on his cheek and rustling of her many-layered white gown, Lily hurried off to the shade of a magnificent old oak in the fringes of their glade, where a dark figure could be seen.
Sirius' gaze followed Lily as well, and he exclaimed, shocked, 'What's he doing here?'
'Exactly what I asked her,' James snapped, then added unenthusiastically, 'but he was her best friend, and she's been expecting him, I think.'
'But Prongs, he's –he's a- '
'We're not certain he's one,' James said stonily. 'And Lily prefers to give him the benefit of doubt.'
'Well I know a simple way to clear all this doubt,' Sirius said, narrowing his eyes at the dark figure that turned to watch Lily approach him, 'tear the sleeves off his robe.'
'Oh, I've thought about it, believe me,' James muttered darkly. 'But if there is nothing there, Lily would never forgive me.'
'You're more worried about Lily's disapproval when he could be a Death Eater?'
'Now that I'm married to her, I very well should be,' James joked weakly.
'I'm serious, Prongs,' Sirius said solemnly, then snapped, 'and if you say a word about me being 'Sirius' I'll turn you into a canary.'
'I meant to do no such thing!'
'Oh, shut it. You're not fooling anyone.' Sirius paused as he watched Lily stop tentatively under the tree. 'You're both too trusting, you know. You ought to be careful.'
'What makes you think we're not?' James snapped irritably. Before Sirius could say anything else, he continued, 'Look, I don't like this either. But she's nothing if she's not stubborn and there's nothing I can do that'll stop her from doing whatever she wants! So drop it.' James' tone seemed to finally convince Sirius, and he asked with much more warmth than before, 'Want me to go watch over them?'
'Thank you, but no. Lily would be furious, and I want her mood to be more pliable tonight,' James joked, smiling in thanks, though his eyes remained anxious.
'Ugh. Don't need to know, mate.' Sirius played along.
Meanwhile, Lily had reached the oak tree. The figure stood still in the darkness, making no move to greet or even acknowledge her presence.
'I almost thought you wouldn't come,' Lily said slowly. 'You gave no answer to my invitation.'
'I didn't know if I'd come myself. Didn't know if I'd be welcome.'
'But more importantly,' the dark figure continued with his oily, expressionless voice, 'I wasn't sure if I'd be able to leave. This visit will not be taken lightly.'
Lily's expression, which had softened, suddenly became stern. 'Of course.' –she said, coldly.
There was absolute silence for a few moments. Then, Severus Snape spoke.
'Congratulations.' The tone was flat.
'I hope you're happy.'
'Are you really happy?' His tone was now anything but expressionless. It was desperate and anxious.
'Of course I am. If you were around a lot more, you'd see how happy he makes me.'
'I can't be around, and you know it.'
'Is that supposed to be some sort of valid reason? It isn't. You brought this drift between us yourself, you know.' The pain these words inflicted on him was hidden in the shade of the tree.
'You don't understand. I belong there.'
'Belong there? Belong there, with them! If you truly believe that, Severus, then we've never been friends. Because you'd never have belonged with us.'
Severus seemed to be at a loss for words. 'Is this why you're meeting me? To try and talk me over to your side?' –he said, blustering angrily.
'No, I'm meeting you because you came.' Lily's voice lost its sternness as she continued, 'And I appreciate the gesture. I'm glad you came. It would have been strange to get married without you in the crowd.'
'Anytime,' Severus' reply seemed distracted. Then he voiced his thoughts –'Listen, Lily. He will take good care of you, won't he?'
Lily's eyebrow rose. 'I can take very good care of myself, thanks-'
'You know what I mean.'
Lily glanced over her shoulder at her husband, who, while talking amiably to an elderly couple, was still watching her.
'Yes, he will.' –she smiled.
Severus grunted, 'I'll take your word for it. But Lily,' at this he stepped forward and his pale, solemn face was finally visible to her, 'if you need anything, any help of any sort, you can come to me.'
His earnestness disconcerted her. 'That's very kind of you, Severus, but-'
'It's not kindness,' –Severus interrupted harshly. 'I will help you, no matter what. And if you ever get hurt, if anything happens to you…' his voice trailed away, then returned, stronger, 'then I swear, I will avenge you.'
'Even if your… your alleged Master is the one hurting me?' –Lily asked softly.
The hesitance was minute. 'Even then.'
But Lily had seen the small flicker of pained indecision on his face. 'For your sake, Sev, I hope it never comes to that.'
Her words disturbed him more than he let on. With an effort, he managed a smile, and said, 'You called me Sev.'
Lily grinned. 'I did, didn't I? Sorry, slip of tongue. Won't happen again.'
Any witty reply he had in store was forgotten at the arrival of someone else into their tête-à-tête.
'Is this man bothering you, darling?'
'James!' –Lily exclaimed, startled. 'Of course not.'
'I was just leaving,' Severus snarled. The two men glared at each other with such intensity that one of them was sure to soon become a pile of ashes.
Lily tried her best to diffuse the tension. 'Severus came to congratulate us, James.'
'Really?' James drawled. 'He hasn't congratulated me.'
Severus Snape stiffened. 'Goodbye, Lily.'
'Wait! Stay, have something to eat,' Lily's words affected both men adversely –James' smug grin turned into a scowl, and Severus smirked.
'Thank you, but no. I must leave.'
'And good riddance,' James muttered under his breath.
Severus' face hardened again, but he turned toward Lily, his back to James. 'Take care, Lily. Goodbye.'
Lily saw in his expression that he wouldn't change his mind. 'You too, Sev. Goodbye.'
He hesitated in front of her for a moment, his eyes boring into her own. Then, he turned away abruptly and stalked into the underbrush. Seconds later, they heard the slight 'pop' of someone Disapparating.
'Well, that's that. Come on, darling, let's go join the celebrations.'
Lily was silent for just a moment before she took her husband's proffered arm, and they walked hand-in-hand back to their glade.
Almost immediately, Sirius began to yell, 'A dance! The very first dance of Mr. and Mrs. Potter!' People began to cheer, a new song began to play, and grinning at her blush, James steered Lily gently to the dance floor, which was hastily cleared for them. As they rotated slowly in time with the music, James noticed she still seemed preoccupied.
'Lil, what's wrong?'
She shook her head as though shaking away morbid thoughts. 'Nothing,' she smiled.
Her smile widened. 'You always could see right through me.'
'And I still can. Tell me what's wrong.'
Lily was silent again; she seemed to be searching for the right words. 'When I was a little girl, I sometimes dreamt what my wedding would be like. Today… today is very different from what I used to dream.'
'For one thing, I never dreamt I'd marry you,' she grinned, and James responded with a matching smirk, 'and, well, there were these other people I was certain would never miss my wedding.'
James' eyes narrowed almost imperceptibly. 'What other people? Snape?'
Lily nodded. 'Him, and Petunia, and my mother…' Her voice trailed away.
James glanced at a far corner where his father-in-law sat, enthralled by all the blatant magical feats being performed around him.
'I'm sorry about your mum,' he began softly. 'She was such a sweet, kind soul.' Lily nodded, her eyes filling up. 'But I'm not sorry about him or your sister.' Lily's head shot up, while James continued, 'If they really cared enough about you, they'd have come.'
'Severus came,' she said in a small voice.
'Yes, and as much as I hate to admit it, I'm grateful for your sake that he came. But it was his choice to leave. He could have stayed.'
'Would you have let him?'
The question surprised him, and he let out a short laugh. 'Are you really asking me that? Of course I would have!' At her disbelieving expression, he continued, 'I'm not saying I'd have been happy about it, but he's your friend, Lil. I'd never do anything to hurt your feelings, and certainly not today.'
Lily smiled slightly. 'Thank you.'
'Always,' James smiled back, and touched his nose gently to hers. As he drew back, he said, his voice hardening, 'As for your sister, I'm glad she chose not to grace us with her superior airs and her ugly, upturned nose, that-'
'Well, I mean it! Every word of it,' James ranted. 'I can never forgive her for how she treated you at your mother's funeral. She obviously let the big green monster of jealousy consume her years ago. She doesn't deserve your thoughts or your tears.'
'She's my sister, James,' Lily murmured.
'That does not imply that she's a paragon of virtue!' James' voice softened instantly. 'Look at Sirius' entire family! Your real family, Lily, the one that cares about you, is right here tonight. And look how big it is.'
He gestured around them. Lily's eyes followed his gesture; all around them were at least a hundred people, all smiling and dancing, and raising their glasses of mulled mead fondly as her gaze swept over them.
The sight pleased her immensely, and a genuine smile spread across her features. How well James understood her! She tightened her grip on her husband's shoulder and chuckled, her bad mood dissipating. 'Yes. Yes, you're right.'
'Aren't I always?' James grinned.
'You keep telling yourself that, dear,' Lily grinned back. James laughed and pulled her closer. 'Still the happiest day of your life, Mrs. Potter?'
'Definitely, Mr. Potter, but I'm certain happier days are yet to come.'
'Then I swear to make that true with every fibre of my being,' he whispered.
'I know you will,' Lily murmured. 'I do love you so, Mr. Potter.'
'And I you, Mrs. Potter.' Their slow kiss produced another round of cheering from the crowd around them. They broke apart, laughing, and commenced to twirl more exuberantly across the dance floor, as the cheering continued.
It was the best night anyone had had for a long time. It was the best night anyone would have for a long time to come.